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92                   HISTORY OF PERSIA
The Ziyand Dynasty^ A.H. 316-434 (<)28^04;*).~
During the reign of Nasr II. the province of Tabaristan
was recovered for the House of AH by Hasan bin Ali-
Utrush, but a few years later, in A.H. 316 (928), a
certain Mardawij bin Ziyar contrived to seue it and
to occupy Isfahan and the country beyond ! lamndun as
far as Holwan. He established a dynasty which was
noted for its devotion to learning and which endured for
rather over a century, although no member except its
founder played a leading rcMe on the stage of Persia,
The best known of his successors was Kalnis, A.H. 366 •
403 (976-1012), the patron of Al»biruni> who dedicated
to him his famous Chronology of .'hicitM Ntithm
and resided at his court for many years. Nor was he
merely a patron of letters : he was himself a poet of
no mean order, writing both in Arabic and in Persian.1
In the latter language he composed an exquisite quatrain,
translated as follows :
Mirth's King the Rose is, Wine Joy's Hcttthl eke ;
Hence from those two do I my pleasure st*ek ;
Would'st thorn, 0 Moon, inquire the cause of this ?
Wine's taste thy lips recalls, the Rose thy cheek !
The career of Kabus was extremely chequered* F Ic
protected Fakhr-u-Dola, one of the Bu way hid princes,
against his two brothers, the powerful Azuu-u-Dola and
the Muayyid-u-Dola, and in consequence was driven out
of his princedom for many years. Upon his return,
although he was famed for " his learning, piety, munifi-
cence, magnanimity, wisdom, prudence, and intelligence,"8
his nobles, exasperated by his cruelty, deposed him urn!
afterwards had him secretly murdered,
In 1908 I visited his tomb, which, as Ibu lafiuutiyar
states, is "outside Gurgan on the road to Khorasan." As
the ^lustration shows, it is a lofty decagon with a curious
conical roof, which is visible for miles across the level
steppe. The Kufic inscription, which is in duplicate bands
1 Browne, of. cit. p, 470,
^ 2 Vide Ibn lafandiyar's History cf Tabarhtefy which Is a mine of information about
this period, In the Kabus Nama an amusing story IB given to prove how well Informed
Kabue kept himself of what went on at the neighbouring court*, VieU O«<?rry'«
translation, p. 413.